Recent comments

  • COMMENT: ‘Leaders’ and why we’re so beyond that--or should be. Part Two of Two: Who wants a newspaper to call their very own?   19 weeks 3 days ago

    I guess I disagree! Whenever I hear the refrain that 'the people aren't pulling their weight' I get suspicious. People are always the same, but technology changes and determines the way cultures work. So the people aren't lazier or dumber today than in the's just that the tools they're given don't make sense any longer. And sending some person off to Ottawa for four years is just too horse-and-buggy for the 21st century mind. Transmission culture (media or governance) is increasingly seen as BS...alienating and ineffective.

    To claim that delegative democracy is viable is like someone in the time of Gutenburg claiming that hand-copying manuscripts and filing them in monestaries was still a viable way of storing and sharing knowledge.

    We reject contemporary democracy (as practised) because contemporary democracy rejects us. The Constitution Bylaw is a perfect example, in fact, of one of the ways in which democracy must evolve to suit the times. We should have a survey monkey for every substantive issue that comes before council and offer them the results before they make their decision. So, I think we agree!

    Finally, if that's first draft writing, Andre, I'm impressed! So I won't 'blame technology'--I'll praise you!

  • CONTEST: December 2013 -- Trust in Nature tea and Hardy Mountain coffee   19 weeks 3 days ago

    What more can I say... best coffee and a wonderful selection of tea!

  • COMMENT: ‘Leaders’ and why we’re so beyond that--or should be. Part Two of Two: Who wants a newspaper to call their very own?   19 weeks 3 days ago

    I am no longer a resident of Rossland, but as you asked for “Any ideas out there?” I thought, why not. It is most difficult for me to remain silent in any debate on topics within the broad categories of governance, society, democracy, and politics.

    You opened part two with a reference to the people who used to take the train to Ottawa to represent their constituents. This is an appropriate picture from which to start an analysis of the problem, at least from the way I see the problem.

    The idea back then in 1867 was for the people of Canada to govern themselves rather than being governed from far away London. The steam powered train was the technology of the day used to make it happen. The technology had about as much relevance to the idea of home rule as mukluks have to the idea of transportation. The philosophy underpinning the idea of sending representatives to Ottawa was that those sent out would do just that – represent the people left behind. Part and parcel of the concept of representation is accountability. Our legal system provides an excellent example to help us understand how accountability is linked to representation.

    If I am hauled into court and am represented by a lawyer, the job of the lawyer is to represent me and my interests, and she darn well better discuss with me how she intends to proceed and why. The lawyer may be of the opinion that my interests would be best served by pleading guilty, that the consequences would not likely be as severe as they would should I be found guilty after having pleaded not guilty. But if I disagree and insist on pleading not guilty anyway, the lawyer had better do her utmost to defend me and my interests to the court. She is and remains accountable to me all the way my being seated in the electric chair.

    Democracy differs from all other governance forms and philosophies in one essential way: bottom up. In all other forms of government, autocracy, oligarchy, anything from a Hitler-style regime to the most benign colonial rule, governance proceed in a top down direction. Bottom-up governance means top down accountability. Rousseau recognized a long time ago that it is impossible for all the people to meet all the time to make all the decisions necessary to make society function, to avoid total anarchy. That means that delegation of some kind, in some form, and to some degree is essential. The key to the quality of a democracy, however, is not how or to what degree or by what way the power to make decisions is delegated, nor to the technology applied to make it work. The key is accountability.

    The idea behind Rossland’s Constitution Bylaw was to provide citizens with the means to establish, maintain, and adjust the fences within which their elected council may roam freely. When the idea was put to the people in a referendum, it was adopted with overwhelming majority. When the bylaw was scrapped, it was not because citizens were tired of holding their elected council accountable; it was because their elected council was tired of having their power to make deals with developers limited. The Community Charter gave the elected council certain powers, and they were not about to be held accountable for the way they used those powers by some stupid bylaw dreamt up by a hired idealist.

    The Constitution Bylaw was deemed to be illegal by the stipulation that a referendum decision would be binding on council. It could have been retained, and be fully legal, simply by removing that section. That section could have been amended to state something like “council shall consider the referendum result prior to making a final decision.” That would have been perfectly legal. The problem with that approach is that it would have retained, perhaps even reinforced, the bylaw’s effect of holding council accountable. Just imagine a council facing final adoption of a bylaw where a solid majority of citizens had taken the time and made the effort to express their opposition. Or a council refusing to initiate a bylaw requested by a petition signed by the required percentage of registered voters. No, the council that dumped the Constitution Bylaw was not worried about its legality; it wanted to remove a process designed to strengthen accountability.

    The problem is not technology; the problem lies with us, the citizens of this country – province - community. We refer to the people we elect as being our representatives, but once elected we accept their obedience to their party leader, why? Look at the US, for example. Yes, the US system differs from our British parliamentary system, but in the US is more rare than common that Congress or Senate votes stick strictly to party lines. The US system has its problems too, and I mean to use that example only to point out one significant difference.

    To conclude, I do not see technology as a problem of any significance in the way we are governed at any level in Canada. I see the problem in citizens accepting, with barely a murmur of discontent, the manner in which those we elect to, in theory, represent us proceed on being elected weaken and preferably eliminate all means by which they could be held accountable for their actions. Instead they rely on short-term flashy promises of goodies down the road to enhance their chances of being re-elected.

    (This was written off the cuff, without editing. If anything I wrote appears garbled, blame it on technology).

  • CONTEST: November 2013 -- Barefoot Books through Lizanne Eastwood   19 weeks 5 days ago

    Congratulations Jean Lloyd! You won this months contest :) I will get in touch with you by email for more details :) 

  • CONTEST: November 2013 -- Barefoot Books through Lizanne Eastwood   19 weeks 6 days ago

    Barefoot books are the best !

  • MAAP is officially on the map   20 weeks 2 days ago

    My apologies Sam. Yes it's at 7212 Riverside Drive -- behind Clyde's Pub and the firehall if you are familiar with Grand Forks. 

  • MAAP is officially on the map   20 weeks 2 days ago

    Is this facility in Grand Forks? 

  • COMMENT: Retirement Security   20 weeks 2 days ago

    There is not enough money for workers because the elected politicians have more than their share giving themselves huge raises without the need to bargain but balk at workers getting bargaining rights. Why is it the the people they represent have to take a back seat to those they have elected? Also those that have worked for 30+ years are not as fortunate because we can't increase our pensions at will. Also the pensions they recieve they only have to sit on their backsides for 6 years.

  • Ferraro Foods speaks to Facebook furor over Sensible BC video   20 weeks 2 days ago

    It was disgusting to see the extent that the store owner went to in interfering with a legal process. He had no business interfering like that, kind of makes him a biggot as well as a law breaker.

  • Teck Trail Operations pH Level Permit Exceedance Penalty Supports Habitat Conservation   20 weeks 3 days ago

    Just guessing here, but I think the discrepancy in numbers is because the smaller number is the accidental caustic spill into a sewer drain, and the other is the discharge of high pH effluent into the river. Because Teck's sewers combine before going into the river, it isn't unreasonable that the initial spill was mixed (and thankfully diluted) into a much larger volume before it entered the river. The unfortunate thing is the accident wasn't caught in time to properly treat the water before discharging it.

  • Ferraro Foods speaks to Facebook furor over Sensible BC video   20 weeks 3 days ago

    Respectfully, Cam, Mr. Ferraro wasn't taking a stand for anti-marijuana values, he was interfering with a legal process on a public sidewalk. The only value at stake here was freedom of expression and Ferraro was on the wrong side.

    There has been an apology and that's good enough for me. We all make mistakes in the heat of the moment, but let's remember that the pot debate needs to play out--to whatever conclusion--in an open and unimpeded manner. I'd hesitate to support anyone for mayor who didn't understand this very basic Canadian value--"I may disagree with what you say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it"--ed.

  • Ferraro Foods speaks to Facebook furor over Sensible BC video   20 weeks 4 days ago

    First of all let me say that I totally support the goals of SensibleBC to promote a referendum.  I have never had the opportunity to indulge in discussions with Danny Ferraro so I don't know much about him.  From the limited second hand reports I have seen, I am guessing his beliefs and understandings may have crossed a line.  But, how many of us would stand up so pubicly for what we believed  in, even though it has proved to have been a somewhat unpopular stand.  One of the reasons we are in this cuffle is due to the tremendous lack of information exchange between camps and Mr Ferraro seems to be willing to contribute his side to the discussion.  I have to admit that I have a tinge of admiration (as far as I can without knowing the guy) for his courage in taking his stand.    With a little polish do I see Dan Ferrarro Mayor?  I might even vote for him should he see our side of the debate.   Anyway lets accept the extended olive leaves, put this behind us and get to addressing the problems at hand.

  • Ferraro Foods speaks to Facebook furor over Sensible BC video   20 weeks 4 days ago

    Dave and Maybe Jim apologized, but Danny, and here I have to say he seems like a nice enough guy, always ready with a smile and nod , Danny still has not come clean with the truth of the matter as far as I can see, I am embarrassed for the guy even. Danny... fess up, your words are not what I was paying attention to on that is your actions that give me trouble. Look me in the face, admit you were wrong (you don't really HAVE to say you lied), and let us move on from there!

  • Ferraro Foods speaks to Facebook furor over Sensible BC video   20 weeks 4 days ago
    Re: statement by Ferraro Foods (November 25, 2013)
    The statement that the canvasser was on the Ferraro property is absolutely false. No canvasser was ever collecting signatures in front of the opening to the store. If that was true, the RCMP would have told Sensible BC that they had to move. They didn't because the canvasser was on the public sidewalk and never "in front of the opening to the store." Sensible BC canvassers all know that to set up on private property requires permission. Danny Ferraro ordered Sensible BC to get off the public sidewalk which was away from the the entrance. He never asked Sensible BC to move off private property because canvassers were never on private property. In fact when he ordered canvassers to get off of the public sidewalk, he stated that he had the right to order people off the public sidewalk because he sweeps that sidewalk which gives him the right to decide who walks there. We maintained our right to canvas in the public sidewalk area. 
    He then continued to encourage people to ignore the canvassing for 3 hours, blocked them from accessing the Elections BC approved initiative petition and also phoned the RCMP twice even though Sensible BC was clearly in a public space. Thank you to the 87 registered voters who signed the petition. The response was very favourable and many people were thankful that Sensible BC was giving them the chance to decide whether or not to sign the initiative petition. 
    Canvassers just want to canvas. It just makes sense.
  • CONTEST: November 2013 -- Barefoot Books through Lizanne Eastwood   20 weeks 4 days ago

    I would love to meet LIzanne at Barefoot Books and get a peek at that atlas! 

    I have written and published a children's novel (set in the future and centered around the Kootenays) that I believe woud be a wonderful addition to Barefoot Books!     

    We have just moved to Grand Forks from Fernie three weeks ago.  The community is very welcoming.

    sncerely, Jean Lloyd 

  • Teck Trail Operations pH Level Permit Exceedance Penalty Supports Habitat Conservation   20 weeks 4 days ago

    Here Teck says it was one to three hundred liters spliied while the Environment Canada news release says

    "On March 5, 2011, approximately 350,000 litres of highly caustic effluent, which is deleterious to fish, was discharged into the Columbia River through an effluent system at Teck Metals in Trail, BC."

    I don't believe the tiny number provided by Teck.

  • UPDATE: No new information a week after sketch released   20 weeks 6 days ago

    Looks like a woman.They'll never find her with that sketch.

  • Valhalla Wilderness Society Stops Pipeline Through Pristine Grizzly Country   21 weeks 18 hours ago

    Whether you are on side with McCory's commitment to environmental and wilderness values or not (and I am), you have to admire his values driven commitment and tenacious work over the last few decades that will leave the world a better place for our great-grandchildren. There are few of us that have kind of drive, passion and willingness to stand on the front lines. Thank you Wayne!   And let's Keep Jumbo Wild.

  • Kettle River Q&A - How are the fish doing in our rivers?   21 weeks 2 days ago

    Excellent comments Brad. I just wish a certain gentleman that was featured in the Gazette had released the large fish that he took from the Kettle that was obvously good breeding stock.

  • Nelson joins rest of Canada at 'Defend Our Climate' rallies   21 weeks 2 days ago

    It would be nice if for once the wishes of the the people would be listened to but BIG MONEY generally wins out in the end!

  • Proposed changes to Agricultural Land Commission could affect local food security, farmland   21 weeks 2 days ago

    Sad to say our best interests are generally thrown aside by government and the corporations, think this will be any different???

  • Toronto police bring down international child pornography ring   22 weeks 1 day ago

    The graphic with this story says that 341 arrests had been made, but Sweden updated the TPS before their press conference this morning to say seven more arrests had been made bringing the current total to 348. 

  • CONTEST: November 2013 -- Barefoot Books through Lizanne Eastwood   22 weeks 1 day ago

    Our whole family loves Barefoot Books... they are so beautifully illustrated (:

    It would be swesome to win the atlas!! (:

  • CONTEST: November 2013 -- Barefoot Books through Lizanne Eastwood   22 weeks 1 day ago

    Great book for a Christmas gift.Any age would love this.Thanksfor chance to win Lizanne. :)

  • What uses the most energy in a typical interior BC home? (answers will be posted as a comment in one week)   22 weeks 2 days ago

    Interesting to note that half of respondants didn't know that space heating was  a big number one...

    From FortisBC:

    Here’s how energy use breaks down in areas that receive both gas and electric service by FortisBC:

    ·         Space heating: 49%

    ·         Appliances & electronics: 21%

    ·         Water heating: 15%

    ·         Lighting: 5%

    ·         Other: 10%

    Sources: 2008 Fortis BC and 2009 Terasen Gas Residential Energy Use Surveys, 2008 BC Hydro Conservation Potential Review